Pet Aid feat. NONONO, The Colourist, Skaters, Wild Cub, & Bear Hands
Sellwood Riverfront Park
Let’s be honest here. 94/7 is just the best. I mean, a lot of people claim that they are the best radio station west of the Mississippi. I’m here to settle the debate and say that this is absolutely true. Pet Aid is one of the many reasons why.
Sunday brought literally thousands of people to Sellwood Riverfront Park in Portland for another legendary KNRK event, Pet Aid. Pet Aid is an all day festival featuring bands, meet and greets, food vendors, and more. The best and most generous part of this is that all funds from tickets go to support different animal organizations, this time being Multnomah County Animal Shelter.
Previous years have brought bands such as Cage the Elephant, Portugal. The Man, Spoon, and many more! This year, the lineup went a little something like this: NONONO, The Colourist, Skaters, Wild Cub, Bear Hands. All five of these bands are growing names on the scene, and for good reason! All have a unique sound, and incredible music that is quick to rise in the Portland scene. Having only seen one of these bands live, I was excited to see the rest. Pleased to say I was not disappointed.
The day kicked off with the headliner of the list: NONONO. Everyone seemed to think this was a strange choice, having the events be kicked off with the headliner then going down the bill. It was different, but it worked! Hot on the heels of their appearance opening things up for Foster the People at Edgefield the night before, NONONO brought just as much energy to their early set.
Lead singer Stina Wäppling has such a unique voice, and a vibe about her that the crowd seemed to fall head over heels for. Highlights from their set included songs such as “Jungle”, “Fire Without A Flame”, and of course, the crowd favorite, “Pumpin Blood”. Not only was Stina a stellar performer, but the rest of the band was as well. Their setup and energy reminded me somewhat of CHVRCHES if they had a live drummer. It worked, and NONONO had PetAid dancing and singing along.
Next up on the bill was the ever-amazing Colourist. The last time I wrote about this California indie band was when they opened up for Young the Giant at last years December to Remember. The last time I saw them was back in April when they came to Wonder Ballroom on their headline tour with The Wind and The Wave and Night Terrors of 1927. Live, these guys are always strong!
Every song The Colourist puts out is a danceable hit. They have mastered the pop sound, and this comes across perfectly in their live sets. From the catchiness of each tune to the amazing power and talent of all four members, The Colourist are always a fan favorite. Highlights from their set included… well, just about everything! And I always need to give a special shoutout to the drummer, Maya Tuttle. She is arguably one of the most talented musicians I’ve come across. Being able to put out powerful drums and vocals all live is something hard to do, yet she makes it look like a simple task. The Colourist always bring the fun and the sun, and if the pattern continues, we’ll be seeing them in December. Let’s hope!
Due to being extremely dehydrated (The event ran out of water eventually. It was 90 degrees) and needing to rush into the line to meet The Colourist, I sadly missed all of Skaters set, save the last song. However, from what I heard throughout the fest, as well as got quick glances of in my search for water, it looked like they really had a lot of energy as performers.
Once I was settled back in my spot for Wild Cub’s set, I asked some concert-goers around me what they thought of Skaters set. Many agreed that they had the most energy of the day so far, and that they really rocked hard. One girl made a mention of how fun is was to watch them interact with eachother. Judging solely on others judgement, and their amazing song “Deadbolt”, I can make a good guess that Skaters live would be one you don’t want to miss.
I was really hoping I didn’t miss the most energetic and best performance of the day with Skaters, but I was quickly reassured after seeing Wild Cub. With their quick rising hit, “Thunder Clatter”, this Nashville quintet (starring Portland native and Oscar nominated composer Keegan DeWitt) is high in demand on the music scene. I was glad to know that I had the chance to see these guys again soon with Bleachers in November, because they were, in my opinion, the best of the day.
Wild Cub is so energetic! They have honed the art of the live show for sure! They were definitely the most interactive with the audience. I think part of it went to the little difficulties they had at the beginning of the set. DeWitt’s mic kept falling off the mic stand, and he was fed up with it. “So it’s going to be one of those shows, huh?” he remarked. Well, he wouldn’t have that. Immediately he restarted fresh and jumped into the crowd, being the only one to crowd surf during the days events. Even after this, he came back into the crowd twice more, and moved around the stage with a bursting energy that seeped onto the crowd. Wild Cub is definitely one not to miss! And I’m not assuming, I know!
The closer of the festival was the equally amazing Bear Hands, riding along the wide success of their hit, “Giants”. I have always been impressed with their music, not only “Giants” but others off their album as well. I was excited to see how they held up live, especially since I missed my opportunity last time (damn you, 21+ venues).
Sad to say, if I had to pick the weaker performance of the day, they were it. However, this is not to say they were bad. It may have just been the fact that the energy of Wild Cub is an extremely hard thing to follow, but their energy just did not compare to the previous acts. Despite this, they still had the crowd going with their strong musical skills. Highlights from their set included “Giants”, “Agora”, and “Bone Digger”.
The 2014 edition of Pet Aid was a wide success! With great music, great people, and all for a great cause, I look forward to seeing what the amazing people at KNRK will bring us at Pet Aid 2015.